The punishment that brought us peace was upon him. (Isa. 53:5)

VIVIDLY DETAILED, Tiff’s recurring dream continued for several nights. Standing alone and bound with iron handcuffs and shackles, complete dread fills her heart. Angry voices echo in the solitary but small dimly lit room. From the darkness, Tiff hears a door unlock and a plainly dressed man comes into view. Tiff struggles against her bonds, unsure of his intent. Cautiously, he reaches to unlock her shackles. Now completely free, Tiff steps back, overwhelmed. To her shock, he begins to lock the shackles upon his body. Perplexed, she looks into his face and almost faints. He smiles, and His eyes are like flames, burning not with anger, but with passionate love and confidence. Two other men then storm the room and roughly drag the stranger away. A third comes and stands before Tiff, wanting to do the same to her but held back by some invisible force. Disgusted, he utters two words: “You’re . . . free.”

The reality of Jesus’ sacrifice remains as potent and powerful today as the day it occurred. His loving substitution brought the peace that not only ends the war over our past, but introduces us to a God who craves relationship. We are indeed free from our past, but also free to connect with God’s heart.

Peace goes much further beyond not fighting. The peace that Jesus brings forms the basis for real relationship with Him.

Offer the hidden places of your heart to Jesus and receive His peace.

Mark Francis enjoys exploring God’s heart, time with family, cooking, and writing. He and his wife, Laura, and their four children live in Sandy, Utah.